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May5ThuMay is traditionally the month we take time to focus on mothers, and in this first year without my mother's physical presence, it is but another way of reminding me of her godly heritage. May 5, 2011 by Lt-Colonel Lynda Watt
“I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother … and your grandmother” (2 Timothy 1:5 NLT).
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Paul's opening thoughts in his letter to young Timothy are words of encouragement to be faithful. They highlight for us the blessing of Christian example and heritage passed on to us by beloved family members―more specifically, as Paul notes, from our maternal guardians.
I was fortunate to know my grandmother in my impressionable early teen years and to benefit from our precious time spent together. She was from strong Newfoundland stock and it was evident from her personality that certain characteristics were deeply rooted and demonstrated in life.
My grandmother was a devoted wife who married a widower and therefore began her new life with two young children, itself a challenge to be faced and met. She gave birth to five children and adopted another. She was always sweet, kind, hospitable and had a wonderful sense of humour that showed itself at the most unexpected times. Even in times of adversity, she seemed to never waver.
My grandmother was a woman of faith and active in all that the church offered. She was a Christian of the highest integrity―unassuming, giving and a faithful servant with the gift of hospitality who would open her home to those in need of the comfort of a meal and the consolation of mentoring.
So it was that my mother learned from the example set before her. My grandmother's Christian principles became part of the fabric of my mother's life. The spiritual seed was sown and the roots went deep. These qualities of strong commitment and generous servant living were part of the legacy that my mother then naturally passed on to her children. It is a blessing of the highest order to trace the heritage of faith that has been a part of my family for generations. As I reflect on my mother's influence, I recognize that growing up with a significant moral, ethical and spiritual grounding has proven priceless―my mother's everlasting gift to me.
May is traditionally the month we take time to focus on mothers, and in this first year without my mother's physical presence, it is but another way of reminding me of her godly heritage. Now, and since the time of my own children's birth, the fervent family prayers are mine to make, that God will keep them centered in him as they forge their own path, one of being salt and light in a world that demands so much and increases in complexity.
Martin Rinkart's prayer of praise from the 15th century still rings true today:
Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms, hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today. (SA Songbook,12)
As you celebrate Mother's Day, give thanks for your family members who have modeled faith and taught attitudes of Christian love. It's a blessing not to be taken for granted.